The Fresh Loaf

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Errans86's picture

A Dozen Beginner's Problems in One Recipe!

April 12, 2013 - 7:01pm -- Errans86
Forums: 

Hi folks, 

Newbie baker here, been lurking for a while and just encountered a problem that I think I can learn a lot from if someone just tells me what exactly went wrong. Which is going to be tricky, since I think the answer is about a dozen things. I've had a handful of successes so far and only three failures, but this latest one captured every issue I've had and rolled them all up into one. 

Salilah's picture
Salilah

Oops - another failure

I was trying to make Daisy's Wholemeal Lemon Sourdough (original successful recipe here)

Not sure what particularly went wrong - my assumption is that
a) I left the preferment too long
b) I used slightly unripe starter
c) I left the mixed dough too long for bulk ferment
d) the S&F method didn't work so well for wholewheat as for white
e) I didn't knead enough
f) the gods were not smiling :-)

I shaped the dough into small loaves - 20mins into proofing and oops - disintegrating dough!

There was no surface tension when shaping...

I decided to pop them in the oven anyway - 30mins at 220C

They smelled great - and tasted OK - but pretty awful rise (i.e. almost none) - it's "back to the bricks", and just when I thought I was doing well...

So - not one of my best examples!  Never mind - I'm still learning!

Sali

Juergen Krauss's picture
Juergen Krauss

WARNING - This post contains some disturbing bread images!


 


First of all - I trust my liquid rye starter. He hasn't got a name yet, but I trust him.


 


Last Sunday we were having some friends over, some with wheat intolerance, and I decided to make the 100% russian rye (from Bread Matters), that always works, I thought.


And I had made a few nice batches of Hamelman's levain with wholewheat, and somehow the Polish Rye we made on the baking course I recently visited felt not so far from that, and I could make it with my rye starter.


Great.


I took the starter out of the fridge the day before where it had been for some weeks, taste and smell OK, and made my pre-ferments.


 


The stiff pre-ferment for the levain was coming along a bit sluggishly, but the liquid one for the russian rye had some bubbles soon (although not enough bubbles, in retrospect).


I expected to make some levain loaves like these from an earlier batch:


good levain


Good oven spring, nice open crumb, delicious ...


 


Well, now come the images... You have been warned, I am not responsible for your bad dreams.


 


 


 


They all tasted delicious.


But ...


bad levain


This is the levain. The top loaf proved for 3.5 hours at 26C. Seriously underproofed.


I didn't trust my finger test!


I will use this one for experiments with old bread.


The bottom loaf prooved for 9 hours. Great taste, crumb not ideal.


With the Russian Rye I expected no problems, but it rose very slowly.


Well,


The photo speaks for itself ...


After 11 hours the dough had risen to a level I expected (usually it takes half that time) and I baked it.


bad russian rye


 


My starter was simply starved, and I didn't pay attention to the warning signs.


As I said, I trust my starter, still.


Currently he is being pampered with some fresh flour ...


 


Happy baking,


Juergen


 

LourdesPrincess's picture

Spaghetti Bread Failures

April 9, 2010 - 7:07am -- LourdesPrincess

Hello!


 


 We've been having trouble getting a good loaf of Spaghetti bread with our bread machine. Every time it either doesn't rise to the top of the pan or it sinks in the middle. The bread machine we have is Corner Bakery, Bread and Desert Maker from Breadman TM. Perhaps someone can tell me what these symptoms are from or maybe you have a no-fail spaghetti bread recipe? Any help is much appreciated!


 


Bernadette

korish's picture
korish


This was originally posted on my blog Healthy living, you can see more images there but here is the run down of my day baking.


Bake n Blog February 9 2010 finish
As my bake day came to the close it was more of a disappointment than success this time. There were happy moments that shun through on small occasions but over all it was a bust. My spelt sourdough that I like to make did not turn out, the substitution of white flour with wheat made the dough wet and hard to work with, and when I free formed the bread it decided to run all over and became more of a large flat bread. The only good part of this bread story is that I got a proof cabinet and made wooden shelf for the proffer so non of my bread stuck to the shelves. When the bread baked the flavor was more sour than I would like, reading few blogs about baking I learned that the small amount of salt does not add much to the flavor so this time I skipped the salt on my breads, big no no, the small pinch of salt that we add to the dough actually makes a big difference in taste. The Pain au Levain turned out great except that I also held the salt back so it's not as flavorful but over all it is a good bread.


To Success.


This bake I decided to try and convert my beer pizza dough from using dry yeast to sourdough and it was a success. I hope to share about this in my next blog, I baked 4 pizzas including 1 with bananas and cinnamon, and we loved it.


Things I learned from the bake.


One main thing I have learned from this bake is that when you are trying a new bread or a changing your current recipe, do it to a single loaf of bread, not your whole mix.


Stick to what works, and what you know that you will like.


Use salt, although it's a small amount but does enhance the flavor tremendously.


Most of all don't get disappointed, you can always try again.


Till our next bake.


 

Stephanie Brim's picture
Stephanie Brim

 Trial One


First up: the Failure.


They were completely sourdough, but something wasn't quite right. They got a bit too puffed. I'm thinking that the fact that I let the dough come back up to room temperature had something to do with that. I should've boiled straight from the fridge, then baked. It could also be that I didn't get them stretched out quite enough, either.


The taste, though? Perfect. Exactly what I want.



Second: the Success.


This is another basic sourdough rye. No caraway, no sugar...just flour, salt, water, and starter. No complaints. Time to get out the mustard. Or maybe the corned beef...


Just to show that I've been baking. Not neglecting my hobby this week. :)

zhi.ann's picture
zhi.ann

This is from before I actually joined this site - actually this is the reason I joined this site.

Background:

In the States, I baked yeast bread. I had one recipe - from a craft, not a cookbook, so it used terms I was familiar with rather than the terms I more often find in baking recipes now that I'm looking around. It was a honey-whole wheat bread. I found all the ingredients in my local grocery store, used that recipe with no alterations except substituting applesauce for half the butter, and I baked it every Saturday, never with a problem.

Now, I live in rural China. I didn't bring the recipe with me. I don't have access to whole wheat. When I look at recipes, they confuse me. And yet my husband really misses bread. I am at a high altitude, but right now it's not dry at all, rather, close to 95% humidity most days. And, without air conditioning, heating, or well-sealed/insulated windows and walls, what it's like outside is a whole lot what it's like inside.

I found this recipe (I can't now for the life of me seem to find it anywhere!! I have it on a notecard) last week and tried it.

Oat-Nut Bread

830 ml flour
830 ml oats, ground to a flou
180 ml finely chopped walnuts
180 ml raisins
60 ml brown sugar
14 ml yeast (1/2 oz.; 14 grams)
10 ml salt
460 ml water
160 ml yogurt (I used vanilla unintentionally)
60 ml oil

1. Combine half the flour, all the oats, nuts, fruit, brown sugar, yeast, and salt.
2. In a saucepan heat water, yogurt, and oil over low heat, just until warm.
3. Add wet to dry ingredients, beating until smooth.
4. Add enough remaining flour for a soft dough.
5. Knead about 4 minutes, or until soft and elastic. Form to a ball.
6. Place on greased baking sheet, cover and let rest for 20 minutes or refrigerate overnight to bake in the morning (I did it overnight.)
7. Bake at 200C for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown.
8. Cool on a wire rack.

Unfortunently, this didn't work out for me so well. I did step 1, step 2, step 3. In step 4, I kep adding flour until I'd added way, way more than the recipe called for, and it still was a dough I could barely handle, it was so wet and sticky. I ran out of flour, and began adding oats, hoping to save it - I ground most of them but out of desperation began throwing them in there as whole rolled oats until I could finally knead the bread. Even then, it stuck to my hands, the cutting board, etc. In step 5, I formed it to more of a blob than a ball, since it was runny, and stuck it in a covered bowl in the fridge. In the morning, it was conformed to the shape of the bowl, so I dumped it on a baking sheet, stuck it in the oven, and let it bake.

The result was a very dense bread, tasty enough to eat mostly because of the raisins, but so dense I had to eat the whole thing (my husband didn't like it at all).

dough as I took it out from the freezer 

I tried the other loaf (this was supposed to make two) leaving it out all night after having frozen the dough (based on something I'd read online, somewhere). It came out just as dense, though it rose a bit in the oven whereas the first never did.

 piece of the bread

I'm munching on the second loaf now, hoping to get rid of it so I can bake something decent.

The only other note is that I won't be doing the walnuts again, even if I do come back to this recipe, because I couldn't taste nor feel them, and they cost the equivalent of $1.50 for so little!!

Any ideas, anyone, on what I can do better? 

 

ejm's picture
ejm

cinnamon swirl(ish) bread
I saw SourdoLady's most beautiful looking Sourdough Cinnamon Swirl Bread and decided I had to make it. Luckily, even though mine was a miserable failure at a cinnamon swirl, it still tastes good.
pumpkinpapa's picture

Farm fresh can be problematic

January 14, 2008 - 9:22am -- pumpkinpapa
Forums: 

I use farm fresh eggs all the time, I work on an egg farm so they are always available.

However, they are not always what you want exactly as they are not graded for defects.

Case in point, recently while making crepes and adding cracked eggs directly into the mix one at a time I noticed a defect egg fall into the mix which was then ruined. It a complete failure but one that is always funny to egg producers yet everyone else thinks it's disgusting.

So for now on it's one cracked egg at a time into a bowl before adding it to the mix :) 

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